:News / Resources

Thinkific vs Teachable: What is the best Thinkific alternative?

A person sitting and looking at a laptop A person sitting and looking at a laptop

We understand that choosing a course creation platform is a big decision. We also know that if you’re researching course builders, you’ve probably considered Thinkific vs. Teachable.

There are a lot of comparisons out there. Teachable and Thinkific are often compared when making this decision, but it’s important to understand the differences so you can decide on the best solution. Which is the best one for your unique needs?

Teachable has been helping course creators since 2014. People from all levels of expertise and topics use Teachable to build successful businesses and earn a living.

We’ve been listening to the creator community, and each Teachable feature is built with them in mind. To help you decide on a course platform, we’ve outlined the top considerations for course creators and how we outperform compared to Thinkific.

What is the difference between Thinkific and Teachable?

We get compared to Thinkific sometimes. Teachable and Thinkific have been in the online course space for a long time, so we understand. We also develop tools and products specifically for online courses. However, there are some key differences to be aware of when deciding which platform to use.

Teachable Thinkific
Teachable is one of the most well-known platforms for creators. You can create and sell online courses, coaching, and digital downloads. Although many successful entrepreneurs use Teachable, it is easy to use for everyone who wants to turn their knowledge into income. Thinkific is a customizable online course platform, and it has a wide range of features. Some of those features you may not want or need.
One benefit of Teachable is the built-in ecommerce capabilities. It’s easy to quickly sell and monetize a course. More importantly, you don’t have to spend hours learning how to code or use new software. You can focus on your knowledge and course content. Educational institutions, well-known entrepreneurs, and corporate businesses with training programs use Thinkific. Some features are built-in but cost extra to access. More custom features may come with a learning curve or require more technical or coding knowledge.
Teachable users have launched successful courses on everything from woodworking to investing, podcasting, marketing, and more. Many build courses and start selling them within days after signing up. Thinkific also focuses more on enterprise clients. Only recently, Thinkific has started building more ecommerce capabilities.

What can you do with Teachable?

Teachable’s users have all the features that a creative entrepreneur needs to launch, grow, and manage their online business.

We want to make it easy for all users to build a course and monetize their skills without needing coding or technical knowledge. To help you decide on the best solution for you, we’ve laid out what you can do with Teachable, and what it means for your business. However, you can compare all features and Teachable pricing here.

We’ll go more in-depth on these features:

  • Online course builder
  • Digital downloads
  • Online coaching
  • Memberships

Online course builder

Teachable has a drag-and-drop course builder so that you can get started building your course content in little to no time. We have three primary design templates tested by creative entrepreneurs for the overall aesthetic, teaching, and learning experience.

Online course builder Online course builder

Thinkific also has a drag-and-drop approach to building courses and a library of design templates. There are more templates and you can add customization. Some customizations might require coding.

Digital downloads

Teachable recently launched a built-in feature for digital downloads. When you sign up for Teachable, you can create online courses, coaching, and digital products in one place. With one subscription, you can create many different types of products and diversify your revenue.

Thinkific’s main offering is courses. Other digital products like coaching and downloads are not as easy to create, because it isn’t built into the platform.

Online coaching

Teachable has one of the best online coaching products available. Unlike Thinkific, we have an actual coaching product so you can schedule and monetize one-on-one coaching sessions with your community.

Setting up coaching is similar to setting up courses. You can create coaching-specific sales pages, checkout forms, and thank you confirmations.

A big advantage of coaching through Teachable is that you can use dynamic curriculum blocks. When someone requests a coaching session, they can provide you with information about their coaching needs. You can approve their request, if they are a good fit for your coaching service, or use the intake form to prepare for your coaching session.

Thinkific doesn’t offer a one-on-one coaching product. To coach with Thinkific, you need to create it as a lecture with live session details that are similar to a Calendly link.

coaching service example coaching service example

Memberships

Once you’ve built and grown your course business, you may want to diversify revenue streams or offer additional features to your students.

If creating memberships is important to your business, you can create them inside Teachable. Memberships give students exclusive access to content and resources and are paid on a subscription basis, which is great for recurring revenue.

Membership sites aren’t a standalone Teachable feature, but you can create memberships by using bundles. You can bundle coaching and content as a package deal for students. Instead of a lower one-time purchase, you can sell more products at a higher value.

Another option is to set up subscriptions as a payment option for your content and coaching so that you can build a membership base and source of recurring revenue.

Thinkific’s membership options are set up in a similar way. To create memberships, you need to bundle your content. Coaching is not built-in as an option though. Bundles and memberships are only available with the Pro and above Thinkific packages.

Why do course creators choose Teachable?

Each product on our platform has been created with online creators in mind. We’ll dive into more detail on specific features, but the top reasons why course creators choose us are:

More ways to make more money

It is easier to make more money with Teachable’s payment features.

Teachable Payments can handle all your payment needs. Plus, you can make more money. Teachable provides payment capabilities that make it easy for customers to buy more of your products.

For example, Teachable users can set up different pricing plans for various products and courses. With Teachable Payments, you can generate revenue globally too. You can accept more than 130 currencies for the same product, and reach more people around the world.

Also, you can set up affiliate programs and student referrals to grow your course business through word-of-mouth. Teachable automatically tracks how many referrals your students bring in and coordinates payments with them.

Thinkific launched Thinkific Payments in early 2022, so it is a newer product. It does not have as many advanced options as Teachable Payments.

Thinkific users can’t make purchases in multiple currencies. This means that course creators have to make different Thinkific sites for different countries to sell content globally. It also can’t handle taxes, payout affiliates or authors, or utilize student referrals.

“Teachable made it simple to create and sell a great-looking course that started generating income immediately. What an amazing thing to be making a living doing what I’ve been doing all along – sharing what I know!”

Marc Sabatella, Mastering MuseScore School

Save valuable time on tedious business tasks

Teachable automates tedious tasks that come with running a business. You can spend less time on payroll and taxes and more time building knowledge, creating course content, and connecting with your community.

For example, affiliate programs have a lot of tax requirements and forms. In the US, you would need to collect W-9 or W-8BEN forms from every affiliate and author that earns over $600 a year from your business. Then, you’d be responsible for issuing a 1099 tax form before the end of the year.

But Teachable Payments automates the process for you, saving you time while bringing you peace of mind.

“I came from Udemy 5 years ago, looking to host my own school with my own rules. I did not want my business to depend too much on another company’s policy and needed direct access to my customers.

I wanted to focus on courses and teachable provided a fully-featured solution, saving me months/years of development work. I really love the peace of mind Teachable is providing me: I can focus on my courses and students knowing that they have my back on the technical end. “

Maxime Britto, Purple Giraffe”

Get the most dedicated support for your entire business journey

Teachable’s key focus is to empower everyone to be successful. We do this by providing regular support and guidance. 

With all paid plans, Teachable offers group coaching sessions. These are live, interactive events where the Teachable team can answer your questions about getting started and building your business at every stage. Many of our creators join these sessions, create successful courses, and start making money right away.

We also have a private creator community so you can connect and learn from peers. Teachable:hq is the only one of its kind because creators are thoughtfully sorted into peer groups. To provide the best, customized support and resources, groups are sorted based on what stage your business is in. It’s not a Facebook group. It is an engaged community led by members of the Teachable team. 

Thinkific does not provide onboarding or a customer success manager unless you have a top-tier enterprise plan. It also doesn’t offer weekly coaching. There’s no dedicated community beyond a Facebook group.

teachable hq teachable hq

“ Teachable U and the Everything is Teachable Podcast has helped me to build out my course and plan my launch strategy with ease. I’ve used other platforms and was very lost which hurt my confidence. With Teachable, I’ve built a program with content that will change the business careers of many Hairstylists.”

Sherrie Marie Walker, Savvy Stylist Society

More value for the money in the long-term

Teachable doesn’t set creative limits on any plan. You can create as many courses and have as many students as you’d like without having to pay more. You also get unlimited video bandwidth, even with a free plan. 

In short, Teachable’s pricing doesn’t make you pay more on top of your plan for core features, so it is a better value overall. How do Thinkific’s paid plans compare to Teachable? 

Every pricing method is based on if you pay monthly or annually, but there are key differences. Teachable has three paid plans. Thinkific advertises four paid plans, but when you dig into the details, it can be broken into five plans. 

This is because there is a Growth add-on to the Pro plan that costs more if you want to access certain features that may be core to your business.

Pricing Teachable Thinkific
Free plan Has a free plan Has a free plan
Lowest cost plan with basic features

Basic

  • $39/month (billed annually)
  • $59/monthly

Basic 

  • $36/month (billed annually)
  • $49/monthly
Second paid plan tier

Pro 

  • $119/month (billed annually)
  • $159/monthly

Start 

  • $74/month (billed annually)
  • $99/monthly
Third paid plan tier

Business 

  • Custom pricing

Grow

  • $149/month (billed annually)
  • $199/monthly

We build core features into our pricing, so you don’t have any surprise costs.

Thinkific’s pricing structure can be confusing. Even though there are five paid tiers, you could end up paying more, depending on what features and add-ons you need for your business.

For example, to remove Thinkific’s branding from your site, you need the Grow plan ($199/monthly or $149/billed annually). You also need the more expensive plans to get other high-value features like Zapier integrations, cohort classes, webhooks, and APIs. You could end up paying $149 for core features.

Thinkific also recently updated its pricing model. It added a more expensive plan called Expand, which costs $499/monthly. Thinkific’s enterprise plan is called Plus. The cost is higher than the existing paid tiers. However, it’s a custom pricing solution for businesses that need more features than tiered plans offer.

“Teachable provides me the tools, support, and strength to see my dreams happen. It’s affordable. The entire platform is user-friendly, to say the least. Not only does Teachable boost my income, but it also boosts my confidence.”

Charles Clifford Brooks III, the Working Writer

Can you create a course on Teachable for free?

Yes, Teachable has a free plan. Thinkific also has a free option, but there are some limits to what you can do without a paid plan. Most course builders restrict how much content, students, and products you can offer per plan.

All of Teachable’s plans—free and paid—have unlimited students. On the free plan, you can create one of each built-in product—courses, coaching, and digital downloads.

Thinkific gives you unlimited students. You can only create one course with a free plan. As you grow your course business, a free plan on Thinkific or Teachable will likely not meet all your needs. 

How do you get paid on Teachable vs Thinkific?

All Teachable plans have the option for instant payout, so you can start getting paid faster. If you use Teachable Payments, payments can be sent daily for businesses in the United States, Canada, India, and over 20 other countries. You can see a full list of countries that can use Teachable Payments here.

Set up payment gateway Set up payment gateway

When you set up a Teachable school, you can choose from two payment gateways: Teachable Payments or Monthly Payment Gateway. For the Pro plan and up, users get Stripe Business and PayPal Business accounts and can set up custom payment gateways. These options may differ depending on the country that you are located. 

Another advantage is that Teachable’s Stripe integration allows you to receive payouts faster and set your payout schedules to daily, weekly or monthly.

Thinkific has its own Thinkific Payments gateway and similar integrations with Stripe and PayPal, but with a few drawbacks. Mainly, if you want to use Thinkific Payments, it’s only available in the United States and Canada.

Which online course platform is best?

Selecting a course platform is like selecting a business partner. It’s important to find the right fit.

There are many reasons why course creators use Teachable. They chose Teachable because of their years of experience helping creators build successful course businesses. We beat Thinkific when it comes to:

  • Support and resources for entrepreneurs
  • Teachable Payment capabilities
  • Upfront pricing plans 

We know how important it is to provide the tools and the support to help course creators build, grow, and manage their online businesses. We invest in creator success through regular, live coaching sessions.

Our flexible payment options work for you. With Teachable Payments features, we can handle the logistics of taxes, affiliate marketing payouts, revenue sharing, and student referral programs. You can focus on teaching online classes and connecting with your students and we’ll help with the rest.

Teachable has all the features that you need to start an online course business, and then some. Thinkific boasts a lot of features, as well. But the question comes down to: Will you use them? Do you want to pay extra for tools that you may never use? Not every creator uses or needs all those features.

You’ve heard a lot from us on why Teachable is the best alternative to Thinkfic, but ultimately the decision is up to you. Think that you’re ready to test drive Teachable?

You can sign up for a free account and launch your online course business as soon as today.

Are you ready for a better way to run your course?

Unlock all that a Teachable membership can do for you.

Get started